British pop-rock band The 1975 embarked on a two-year world tour, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships with an aim to enhance the fan experience. In order to reach their aim, the production team selected the d&b KSL System.
Front of house engineer for The 1975 Jay Rigby said: “Musically, this band is very eclectic, so you really need a sound system that covers all of those genres and styles”.
Rental house Eighth Day Sound collaborated with Rigby to specify the KSL System for this tour, after working with The 1975 for their past two album cyclesand being early adopters of new d&b technology.
“One really interesting thing with the KSL,” commented Rigby, “is that the vocal range is just incredible – that crossover point between the mid and the high is so smooth; you don’t really hear any horn distortion and the voice is just so smooth all the way through. The fans want to hear every word that Matty is saying and KSL has made it so much easier for every seat in the house to hear just that.”
The set design for the tour by conceptual designer Tobias Rylander scales according to the venue, whether it be a city hall or large arena, and so the sound must scale accordingly.
Rigby claims that this has not been an issue, saying: “We bounce into different sized venues on an almost daily basis and KSL sounds great in all of them.”
Eighth Day Sound’s system engineer Dan Bluhm said of KSL: “It has been a fantastic addition to Eighth Day’s inventory and has fit our needs for The 1975. KSL provides us with a tonal consistency as well as even level distribution from the top, back-of-the-arena seat down to the floor. It has allowed us to provide a similar audio experience to every seat.”
“Being able to use the KSL in many different sized venues has benefited this band and tour. They love to play venues from arenas one day, to a theatre the next day, and then a club the day after, so we really need a system that’s able to scale. For us, d&b KSL has been a wonderful product where you can hang six, twelve, or whatever is necessary for the venue you are in.”
Faced with such variety, Bluhm uses d&b ArrayCalc and R1 control software to design and create the sound according to each venue. He said: “The d&b eco-system drives my day. From starting with ArrayCalc prediction software for room measurement and determining speaker angles. Then transitioning into the R1 control system. This allows me to preform system checks and array verification while the system is still at a working height. We’re able to check all the components in the boxes, make sure that everything is functioning, and cabled correctly before sending it up. We have found the KSL to be very easy and fast to hang. Our two fly guys are hanging the arrays within a matter of hours from shooting the room.”
Monitor engineer Francois Pare says of KSL: “The rejection on stage is pretty spectacular – it makes my job so much easier. I’m not fighting the PA as much as with other sound systems, which is kind of nice for the band. Any band likes clarity, it’s super important. Again, the rejection keeps the stage down, so it is easier to be clear with mixes.”
Rigby agrees: “The overall clarity we’re getting with KSL, I kind of relate to television, when you’re used to watching standard definition and the first time you watch in HD there’s this wow factor, where you never knew it could look or sound so clear. I’m now hearing parts in certain instruments that I never heard before, almost to the point where I’m going to the backline guys to ask if it was there last time. There’s detail and clarity that we didn’t have before.”